Guilty Pleasures

I’m currently sitting inside the Top of the Hilton restaurant, which is, well, literally at the top of the Hilton hotel (what a no-brainer eh?). But at this height I have a magnificent view of the emerald blue Eliott Bay as well as downtown Seattle. The “full” American breakfast costs 12.95 dollars, but what the heck, I figured that it is only about 1,000 yen or so. For that amount I get three eggs cooked the way I want it, my choice of sausage, ham or bacon, orange juice, coffee, toast, and a piece of fruit. Mmm, hmm. All that grease is gonna get me high through my morning. Plus I get complimentary wireless internet. In Japan the most I could get is probably a piece of salmon, rice and miso soup with twice that amount. And I tell you, the way my tummy is sticking out, I’ve got more than my full share of breakfast for today. Enough to last me until dinner, I hope. I’ve got a poster presentation this afternoon, so I thought it would be a good idea to recharge my batteries while I have the chance.

That’s a full American breakfast indeed! Lots of grease and fat. Yummy.

Yesterday I attended the banquet, which supposedly costs 75 dollars per person. The registration fee (a whopping 695$) covers the banquet for a full conference participant like me, but the way the government system goes nowadays, I will not get the whole amount refunded because the banquet fee will be substracted from it (thanks a lot, bureaucrats!). I thought that it would be such a waste if I didn’t at least get my dinner’s worth. It was a little disappointing, though, that all we got for dinner was a piece of salmon (no pun intended), a piece of cheesecake, and lots of booze (which I didn’t really enjoy). I did my conversion again, and was aghast to realize that the whole affair costed me about 8400 yen.

I was also able to visit the famous Space Needle (I have an unobstructed view of it from my window here right now), paid 14 bucks to get to the top. Baggy told me that I would have had a free ride to the top if I had eaten at the revolving restaurant, for a lunch of about 30 dollars (3600 yen? No thank you.). But I’m the hopeless omiyage shopper, so I ended up splurging more than a hundred dollars on souvenir items at the gift shop at the bottom of the Space Needle.

Anyway, yesterday, like today’s, was perfect weather, you know, cloudless blue skies and the sun was out in full force. I have no plans of going anywhere else in Seattle, so I might as well have a taste of its famous landmark. The rest of the park in the Seattle center is blah. I thought I would be spending the rest of my morning there, but as it turned out, boredom got the better of me and I found myself back in my hotel room less than four hours later. And that includes an hour or so of walking!

Just 48 more hours to go, and I’ll be home sweet home.

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